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Dear Amy: I have recently found out via my younger sister that our father has been diagnosed with pancreatitis. I am hurt that he hasn't said anything to me.

My father has always had a problem with alcohol. Last Christmas, my fiancé and I had a sit-down with him — an intervention, if you will. I expressed concern that his alcohol problem would lead to illness and warned him that if he didn't stop drinking, it eventually could lead to his death. He brushed it off.

My first son was born March 2022, my second in January 2023. I want my dad to be a part of their lives. But we are not in a position to take care of him.

We live out of state, and for months he has been "planning to visit." But it hasn't happened. I feel as if we always are the ones going to visit him, which is difficult right now. My fiancé and I are starting a business together. Plus, I just found out that we're having another baby.

I haven't told my dad about the new baby yet, but he knows that things are tight for us, with everything going on. Yet he still insists that we make time to visit him and his new girlfriend.

I understand if he feels scared, I'm writing to you because I'm scared. How do I go about bringing up the diagnosis? Or should I wait until he tells me? And what if that never happens?

Amy says: First, take a breath. Hug your children. Anchor yourself to your own life.

I suggest this because of the almost frantic tone of your letter. You are upset, scared and worried — all of which are understandable. You also are exhibiting the classic control issues consigned to you as the sensitive, caring and competent child of an alcoholic.

Here's how you ask your father about his health: "Dad, [sister] just told me about your diagnosis. How are you feeling? What is the treatment going to be like?"

Listen. Ask questions. Express support. You don't need to lecture him about his drinking. Having had to sit through past lectures might be the reason he's not sharing this news with you. He is living his life, making (unhealthy) choices, and now he is facing the consequences of his choices.

You cannot change this outcome, or his selfishness regarding you and your children. I hope you can accept this painful reality with grace. Attending a "friends and family" support group would be very helpful for you.

Missed the intent?

Dear Amy: Your recent answer to a question about a destination wedding inspired me to write.

My wife and I attended a destination wedding. We went out of obligation, an obligation I wish we'd never agreed to. It was five days of enforced partying with a small group of people we wouldn't choose to vacation with.

We will never do that again.

For those who want to have a destination wedding, my suggestion is to focus on each other and the moment. Come home afterward and have a gathering with family and friends.

Amy says: The person who wrote the first letter was complaining that the cost of a destination wedding was going to greatly reduce attendance. And I said that sometimes that's the motivation behind holding a remote ceremony — to thin the crowd to just a tightly knit few.

I'm sorry you had a terrible time, but perhaps you and your wife were among the people the hosts thought wouldn't show up.

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